Saturday, June 27, 2009


Glenn attended a beekeeping class last weekend. This was a class specifically for new beekeepers on the central coast of California (which we are), how lucky. The teacher, Jeremy Rose, owns The California Bee Company. Jeremy is not only a great teacher and beekeeper, he writes as well. He gave us all a copy of his yet to be published book about beekeeping in California. We have found it very interesting to read.

I was really happy to see the large turnout of new beekeepers. Backyard beekeeping seems to be getting big in our area. I would like to think we are trendy and hip, but for some reason I think this doesn't count. Oliver was the youngest student with Glenn coming in at a distant second.

For Father's Day I made Glenn and Oliver matching shirts. I was inspired by Barbara's Spot on the Blog, where she posted about a funny shirt she saw at a beekeeping convention.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Oliver is One Lucky Boy

Happy Father's Day to my husband, the best Dad in the world.

And Happy Father's Day to my daddy, Oliver's best buddy.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bear Hunting

I heard there were black bears at our local lake (Santa Margarita Lake). Not a big deal for some people, but for a girl who has only seen two bears in her lifetime, exciting indeed. I got the boys on board, put on my bear hat for good luck and headed out to the lake.

Glenn was leading the way down the trail when we spotting some bushes moving. Several baby quail started running for their mother who was calling for them from a bush closer to the lake. A few more steps and Pumpkin startled three deer, which went bounding into the trees. At this point I realized I needed to be in front to spot the bear. I was NOT going to only get a glimpse of the bear’s tail as it retreated into the trees.

I was happily leading when I looked down and saw this next to my foot. Oliver now knows the meaning of the word “shit.” I actually think I said, “Shit, shit, SHIT, back up, RATTLESNAKE!”

Being the loving wife that I am, I decided Glenn should have the opportunity to experience all of the wildlife first for the rest of the hike. Oliver and I followed behind carefully, eyes glued to the ground.

This hike was incredible in terms of cool animal experiences. Glenn saw a fox (I saw its tail retreating into the trees-go figure), we found a lizard that WASN'T a western fence lizard, a tarantula, turkeys and their poults, a giant dragonfly and a snake skeleton.

Turkeys and their poults

This cute little poult got separted from its mother. They were able to reunite after calling for eachother.


I have to look up this lizard but I can't find my herp book. Anyone know what it is?

Oliver took this picture of the snake (or lizard?) skeleton and his walking stick.

We returned to the ranger station just as two women were pulling up. “We just had the most amazing bear experience!” “There is a mother and baby bear hanging out and everyone saw it!” “They are right down the road, hurry!” So we jumped into the truck and drove around the lake for another hour. No bear. Was I jealous? Yes, but still happy about all of the other animal encounters. Next week we are waiting in the truck for sure.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Another Good Day

I've been working on a video for Oliver to celebrate his first three years. Going through the pictures makes me nostalgic about each stage we have passed. How I would love to hold my baby in my arms or talk to that adorable one year old again. Looking at pictures also helps me remember to live in the moment.

Today is one of those days I will look back on in a few years. I'll think fondly about my adventurous toddler who loved being with me on a nature hike above almost anything. During our hike today in the backyard, I tried to soak up every moment of our time together, as I know these beautiful days won't last forever.

Oliver and I packed up our cameras, put Pumpkin on a leash, and dressed in long pants and snake boots. He took me up the highest "mountain" he could find. Once we reached the top, Oliver stopped to take a picture of the view.

We also found some lichen. Oliver shows us in this picture how a true artist works. He climbed into this precarious position to capture the lichen patch at the correct angle.

Oliver showed me how real hikers descend from mountain tops (on their bums apparently).
And the greatest find of the day? It was a full baby snake skin, hanging out of a hole. Oliver suggested it might be a baby dragon skin, which is why he looks slightly nervous holding it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Snakiss is Back!

Oliver and Glenn found Snakiss sunning himself in the garden this morning. He quickly retreated back into the original gopher hole when I tried to take a picture of him.

Well, I'm sure you are all sufficiently sick of hearing about our gopher snake. I'm sorry to say I'm sure there will be many more snake posts in the future as the rattle snakes start to come out of hiding.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Carrots, a Dead Gopher, Bees, and Chickens

I have been taking pictures thinking, "This might make for a good post," then I realize I really only have one or two sentences to say about the topic. I decided I would blog about those topics not quite interesting enough to warrant an entire blog post.

1. My husband's huge carrots

This post was Oliver's idea. He wanted to show off the biggest carrot we have ever been able to grow. After years of trying Glenn finally grew this amazing carrot. It was delicious.

2. Poor dead baby gopher

Our cat Otter (previously a pacifist) killed his first animal. After murdering this cute gopher, he went inside to eat some processed dry cat food. We were actually kind of happy Otter killed this gopher (who recently ate all of our peas) until I brought up that some mother gopher just lost her baby. Then we got a little sad.

3. Honey and Bea update anyone?

Some of you may remember Honey and Bea from our previous posts.
The Beneficial Bee: Honey and Bea
Bea was injured as a chick and we worried she wouldn't be able to walk. Look at her now, a healthy young chicken. You can always find Honey following Bea around the coop (Honey is white, Bea is black)

4. Bees in the garden

We have had very few of our bees visit our vegetable garden. Now thanks to our sunflowers, we have many more bees buzzing around the garden.

5. Introducing our new head rooster: Eddie!

Carlos found a new home on 20 acres where he will be used to fertilize eggs (and where he will not be able to attack toddlers). It is free range and happy and I'm not just making it up to make you feel good. Eddie has a much more gentle style. Oliver and I watched him take the most sensual bath today with two of the hens. Just look at the expression on his face. Have you ever seen a happier rooster?